7 SEPTEMBER 1934, Page 19


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

Sin,—The provisional nomination of Professor Julian Huxley for the position of Secretary to the London Zoo is naturally viewed with alarm by that large section of animal lovers who regard the Vivisector with a certain amount of distrust. For when a man has been engaged, inter alia, in trying to turn one species of animal into another—this being the claim of Professor Huxley in regard to the axolotl in 1920—it is obvious that the guardianship of a vast collection of animals of many types will be likely to suggest to him many oppor- tunities for experimentation ; opportunities which it would be almost beyond the power of a keen biologist to resist.

At present, I believe, experiments in the Hospital attached to the Zoo are forbidden. It has been recognized that in

the retiring Secretary, Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell, the animals had an ideal guardian. But with the impending change, a licensed Vivisector being in charge, a different spirit may prevail, and ere long we may find the Zoological Gardens, Regent's Park, entered in the list of places registered for experiments. This would be by no means the first insidious encroachment on neutral ground made by the Vivisectors. I trust that this danger will be recognized by the Fellows, who have to vote on the election next April.—I am, Sir, &c., BEATRICE E. KIDD, Hon. Secretary. British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection,

47 Whitehall, London, S. W.1.